Smile if You’re a Retailer—Your Big Data is On Camera

    By Nathan Roberson | Small Business

    Smile if You’re a Retailer—Your Big Data is On Camera image Screen Shot 2013 10 06 at 10.02.27 PMSmile if You’re a Retailer—Your Big Data is On Camera

    With incredible new innovations on handheld devices and smartphones, everyone is checking in on Facebook, tweeting about where they are, checking in on FourSquare, and enabling their GPS and cell phone Bluetooth, making them imminently more visible than ever before.

    But there’s even more good news when it comes to collecting big data from these sources: Business owners with brick and mortar locations can actually track clients in their stores using such check-in data as well as smart cameras that are easily installed in stores.

    But there’s more. Creating a loyalty app for customers will automatically check them in right when they walk through the front door of your establishment, allowing friends all across social media platforms know where they are, and in some cases, even how long they stay there. And the data collected by such visits are converted into stats you can see on a dashboard programmed into your loyalty app.

    Of all these awesome new tools, the one that reveals the most about in-store activity are the smart cameras. This handy new novelty makes the old surveillance camera a total relic, but serves business owners in another amazing way—it tracks the physical movement of patrons as they walk through the store. Just as Google Analytics can show you which page a visitor landed on, which page they went to next, how much time they spent on the website, and which page they were on when they left, smart cameras do the same thing in the real world rather than the virtual world.

    Imagine this scenario: A woman walks into a clothing retailer. She first goes to the formal apparel department—this tells us that her initial reason for going shopping was a need for formal wear. Let’s say she walks away from the formal apparel without picking anything out and wanders over to handbags, peruses the selections, and picks out a bag. On her way to the register, she passed the accessories without noticing them, pays and leaves the store. Now let’s suggest that this same pattern or nearly equal pattern occurs dozens of times. What does the data reveal? For one, these women aren’t buying much in the formal apparel department, and it might be time to check in to women’s apparel trends and select some edgier inventory. It also means your bags are doing well, so ordering more inventory in this department is now a no-brainer. And lastly, perhaps it’s time to ask the question, “Where can I place the accessories racks so that they will be more visible?”

    With all that said, don’t downplay the value of a loyalty app. Many programmers and larger enterprises like LoyalBlocks, Belly, Perka, Spendgo, Shopkick Local, and Crowd Twist among dozens of others can help you build a loyalty app that allow you to track customer visits, create digital punch-cards for rewards, and allow customers to rack up loyalty points to be converted into discounts or cash back. Nothing creates more requited love than cash back and rewards. Loyal customers are the most valuable—making sure they continue to walk through your doors is your passport to longevity.

    Image: The Retailer’s Guide To Big Data

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